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Letter to the Directors of Camp Moosilauke

By Kyle, Camper 2008-2013

First off I would like to thank you all for six amazing years at Camp Moose. It’s certainly a magical place and that is in most part thanks to you. As summer quickly approaches, many of my friends are asking if I’m headed back to the place I refer to as my home away from home. Sadly, life catches up to you pretty quickly once you reach high school and I won’t be able to make it back this summer. While nothing would make me happier, I’ve started down a path that will hopefully fulfill my childhood dreams. I’m being recruited by the U.S. Naval Academy to play lacrosse. This summer will be filled with tournaments and trips down to Annapolis to meet with the coach. I find it funny that the sport that is now helping to take me to college was one I learned on the fields at Moose. Quinn [Camp Counselor and Director of Lacrosse] might have actually taught me something worthwhile!

While it may be a little early to start thinking about life after college, it had always been a dream of mine to be a combat pilot. After two concussions that dream was wiped away. However it opened the door for my new goal, to become a U.S. Navy SEAL. Possibly brought on by the trips with Port [Camp Owner]? I will have one place to thank should I one day achieve this…Camp Moosilauke. You gave me the drive and the desire to not only succeed, but to ensure those around me succeeded as well. The teamwork and camaraderie that I’m sure I will experience at the Academy and hopefully within the teams will definitely be traced back for me to summer days during Capture the Flag and Color War. I was taught to aim high and follow my dreams at Camp, and I plan on doing just that.

It goes without saying that the time I had at Moose was second to none. There is not a place in this world I would have rather spent my last six summers. Moose has always been a special place to me. From “Kenny Cookouts” to late night baseball games, swinging in the hammocks on “Lazy Sunday” or my countless trips to Dartmouth Medical Center for which I will never be able to thank Patsy [Camp Nurse] enough. Moose will forever stay in my heart as the place that turned me into the person I am today. The skills I picked up climbing the White Mountains with the BLP [Backcountry Leadership Program] staff are now coming with me to the Himalayas and Mt. Everest, a trip I’m planning to take within the next five years. It was a passion of mine that was also discovered and honed at camp that I doubt I would have gotten anywhere else.

Camp Moose taught me respect, how to be a leader, how to grow and develop in mixed groups, and above all how to care for those around me. I felt that by last summer, my [Senior] A1 year, I had almost turned into a counselor which was completely fine with me. I learned to love looking after and teaching kids, which is why I think being a Color War captain felt like such a good fit. I mentor students at the elementary school and refugees and immigrants in Burlington in all sorts of different ways. A friend and I are planning an inner city lacrosse league for kids who aren’t as fortunate to be able to play the sport I love.

The skills and the mindset that I developed at Camp are lifelong, and I continue to use them everyday. I would love to come back as a junior counselor to continue to help develop the exceptional kids of Moose, so be expecting my application when the time comes. There are really no words to describe the immense gratitude and thanks I have towards everything you’ve done not only for me, but for all the boys who walk the beach of Upper Baker Pond.

I could go on forever with memories of Moose, skills I learned, or experiences that are truly once in a lifetime. However, I think the number of kids who return summer after summer speak to that. Thank you all, once again. You make Moose unique, and for that I tip my hat to you. You run an amazing camp, and it truly wouldn’t be the same without you.

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